Recognize this girl? Posing at Torrey Pines in San Diego
It’s hard to believe we’re already 1 week into 2013. The time just seems to fly by (a sign of age, perhaps?) and we’ve been busy as a swarm of S.CA bees in an RV honey hive. You see at the end of Dec we received a rather impulsive visit from my Danish cousin, Christina. If you’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll remember this young lady from adventures on the OR coast this summer, and a memorable tale of sore buttocks in the Rockies of CO from 2010. She’s a travellin’ lover and jumped at the chance to see us in CA this winter. A ticket and 20 hours later she was here and ready to take S.CA by storm.
So what do you get up to in San Diego with two Danish gals on the loose? Well, we had a couple of cool adventures that I can now bring you up to date on:
1/ Day-Trip To Los Angeles
Sunset at Venice Beach
I fully admit I have a love-hate relationship with LA. I love the diversity there, but man-oh-man do I hate that traffic. It almost killed us last time we drove through the city, so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to take a day-trip w/ the toad to see the sights. I mean seeing LA is something every tourist has gotta do, at least once right? So I braced myself for the ride and planned a manageable itinerary with some cool sights.
On the not-exactly-legal trail to the sign
We started with a trip to the famous Hollywood sign where we promptly got lost on our hike (well, because I’m me), ended up on a road with warnings that there was “absolutely no access to the Hollywood sign” (a natural invitation to walk there, of course) followed by other warnings that it was completely illegal to hike this path (an obvious encouragement) followed by various other decisively discouraging signs that naturally led us to a perfect path right to the base of the sign….AWESOME!
Posing with the star-prints on Hollywood Road
After our rebellious trek we dropped back to Hollywood Blvd to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We managed to squeeze the CRV into a ridiculously small, but free parking spot (the equivalent of hitting the LA jackpot) and massed our way through the throng of crowds to put our hands in the cement imprints of the stars and gawk at all the various performers dressed in outrageous costumes posing for money. COOL!
Having satisfied our star-lust we decided on a slower pace and made our way over to Venice Beach to end the day with a glass and some people-watching on the promenade. Exactly the kind of eclectic mix of color and roller-skating beach-goers that originally bought me to California. Just before sunset an impromptu drum-jam started up on the sand swelling to a mass of 50 people jiving and grooving with the beats (and a bit of ganga thrown in, by the smells of it). GROOVY!
A pretty neat day, despite 5 hours of frustrating driving…like I said…totally love-hate relationship!
Late PM glow at Venice Beach
2/ Adventures On The Water
And she’s up!!!
Kayaking La Jolla Bay
San Diego is one of the best places to play in the water. With miles of beach, tons of killer surf breaks and protected bays you can splash just about any way you wish. Our first day on the water we took Christina for a surf lesson on the beautiful long-board break by San Elijo State Beach. She finished with jello arms, but managed some good stands on the board and was totally captivated by the sport (I see surfing in Denmark in her future). Our next day out we switched pace and went kayaking in gorgeous La Jolla Bay. We learned our lesson from our last visit and rented from Bike & Kayak insted of taking a tour this time, opting for a liesurely 2-hour paddle around the sea caves and giant kelp at our own pace. While we were floating in the bay we were visited by a family of seals who curiously popped their heads around the kayaks, sniffed the boats and swam underneath to check us out…just fabulous!
3/ Adventures On Land
By Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach
With near-perfect weather the entire week we opted for a few extra adventures on land including a 14-mile bike-ride around Mission Bay, a gorgeous hike in Torrey Pines State Reserve (totally worth it for the wacky sandstone cliffs and the rare pines) and trips to the various beach towns. It’s hard to beat the coastal winter views in San Diego!
4/ Adventures In Urban Parks
In the artists colony at Balboa Park
Christina catches a shot of the giant turtles right before “the action” starts
I gushed poetic about the urban parks in San Diego last year (here and here), so I had to take Christina to see a few of them during her time here. We managed a gorgeous day (with doggie in tow) to Balboa Park followed by another day at the San Diego Zoo. The latter was actually a first time visit for me. I’ve always been partial to the bigger San Diego Safari Park up north (and I still think the Safari Park is an overall cooler experience), but I enjoyed our time at the Zoo in town. Our Zoo experience was also rather enlightening in other ways as we caught a couple of giant turtles “getting jiggy with it” (always wondered how they managed) and sampled Kalhua & Bailey coffee’s (yes, I recommend).
5/ Adventures In RV Socializing
Drinking with “the crew” in Mission Bay RV Resort
No visit to “the beast” would be complete without a bit of RV socializing thrown in. We’ve got several RV buddies in the park (Hans&Lisa, Alex&Ellen, Wendy&James, Sue&Dave) and I decided to bring them all together with the invitation to a special Danish spiced-wine concoction…Glögg. It’s typically a Christmas-season drink so I was a bit late in the making, but figured I could pass it off with the non-initiated locals. Also I happen to have my mother’s super-secret, extra-potent (even by Danish standards) but deceiving smooth recipe which is guaranteed to get any party in a good mood. And indeed no-one noticed the lapse in protocol. In fact after several glasses of the fine fusion, the festive spirit was firmly re-ignited and a jolly good time declared by all.
And that….phew!…is what two Danes get up to in a week in S.CA. We’re winding down our last few days here in San Diego before we pick up and rock back to boondocking in the desert. We’ve got an adventure in Mexico lined up for you (with tips on how to get inexpensive quality dentistry work) and a trip to the largest RV gathering on earth. See you soon….
Stilt-walkers on Venice Beach
Drum-jam on Venice Beach
Enjoying a glass on Venice Beach
Toes in the sun in La Jolla Bay
Colorful Balboa Park
An alert Mircat at the zoo
Pink Flamingo reflections